Drew Smith

Writer, long-distance hiker, and infectious disease diagnostics consultant,

Drew Smith is a PhD molecular biologist who was a scientist and R&D director at several biotech companies and is now a student of the microbes that shape society.

Written by Drew Smith

Recent Comments

Empathy is an overrated skill when dispensing medical care

Drew Smith

A reasonable-enough argument, and satisfyingly contrarian, but…you are talking about a complex interaction of character traits and medical outcomes. The chance that this subject can be fruitfully analyzed by logic alone is next to zero. Surely there are some prospective studies that address this problem empirically. One could rate a cohort of physicians on a well-established personality index, and then follow their patient’s outcomes. In fact, this type of study has been done for female vs male doctors, and found that female doctors had better patient outcomes (READ MORE→ See comment

How we evolved from drunken monkeys to boozy humans

Drew Smith

“The molecules produce alcohol to kill off their bacterial competitors…” Not likely.

Although there is a wide range of alcohol tolerances among both yeasts and bacteria, bacteria as a class are not inherently more susceptible to growth inhibition or killing by ethanol. See, eg., “Role of Alcohols in Growth, Lipid Composition, and Membrane Fluidity of Yeasts, Bacteria, and Archaea”

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